Best Buy: Visa holders can streamline remittances to Philippines

To send money to the Philippines, Filipinos only need to provide UAE Exchange with their recipient's Visa card number.

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Sending money home just got a little easier and closer to real time than it's ever been.

Visa, the global card payment giant, and UAE Exchange have tied up to offer consumers real-time remittances to Visa debit and prepaid cards in the Philippines.

Based on the Visa's new personal payments platform, the service, the first of its kind in the UAE, offers a faster and more convenient way to send funds home.

Currently, the service only extends to clients with Visa debit and prepaid cards issued by Union Bank of the Philippines, which allows recipients to receive their money in minutes, rather than the two or three days it takes for bank transfers to reach their destinations.

"By enabling millions of Visa cards in the Philippines to receive funds in minutes from the UAE, we can extend the reach and efficiency of remittance companies and financial institutions," says Kamran Siddiqi, Visa's general manager for the Middle East.

"The UAE has one of the highest numbers of expatriates in the region and it's fitting that our first roll-out of this service in the GCC is happening in the UAE.

"Visa's global network and UAE Exchange's consumer reach are a powerful combination bringing greater convenience and added value to the large mobile workforce in the UAE."

The launch of the service to the Philippines is aimed at securing a portion of the US$584 million (Dh2.1 billion) worth of fund transfers sent from the UAE to the Philippines each year.

To send money to the Philippines via Visa's personal payment platform, Filipinos only need to provide UAE Exchange with their recipient's Visa card number to start the funds transfer.

According to Visa and UAE Exchange, the service eliminates the need for senders to fill out complicated forms and provide routing information such as bank codes and branch addresses. Funds are credited directly to the recipient's Visa debit or prepaid cards in minutes.

Sudhir Kumar Shetty, the chief operating officer of global operations for UAE Exchange, says the company plans to roll out the service to other countries in the future.

"With the near real-time transfer facility, we will be taking cash to card transfers to the next level," he says.

"In due course, we plan to extend this unique facility to other countries, too."

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